Adapt to Change

I want to look at ways in which our world is changing. Not just our world in general, but the world of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning; the world of comfort and lighting and air quality in buildings; the world of building performance.
Technological innovations are rapidly changing many aspects of our work and our lives. Forecasts suggest that one in seven jobs could soon be automated, and we have seen a rapidly growing interest in both robotics and artificial intelligence. The breakneck pace of AI and automation see changes to our workforce we couldn’t have imagined, with some experts saying that 65% of students starting early education will work in jobs that are about to die out.
Our environment is also changing, at least in part due to our own impacts. Innovators in green tech are racing against a different kind of clock, one that affects the entire natural world. In 2017 global energy related CO2 emissions reached a record 32.5 gigatonnes, whilst climate related disasters, …

A Changing Landscape

It’s been a busy couple of months since my inauguration as president at the CIBSE AGM in May. I have been working closely with the CIBSE board, staff and volunteers to make sure that the aims and actions we take are clear and effective.

In my inaugural address, Adapt to Change, I outlined some of the challenges facing our industry and wider society. The last few years have been tumultuous, with little sign of calmer seas ahead and I believe that with our collective experience and knowledge CIBSE must lead change as a globally recognised force for good. It is time to take stock and assess what we, as an institution and a profession are trying to achieve. In doing this, I believe we can gain a better understanding of how to maintain and grow our relevance within the industry we represent.

A clear illustration of an urgent need for change was the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in 2017. Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety identified a need for c…

New horizons

New CIBSE President Peter Y Wong presents his first monthly presidential blog following his inauguration last month, in which he takes a look at what the 30th anniversary of CIBSE ANZ means for the Institution.
Welcome to my first President’s blog of my term – I hope that you find it useful. This blog will be a monthly insight into my intended path for the Institution, and will hopefully be an interesting perspective on issues affecting the engineering industry as a whole from the first Hong Kong President of CIBSE.
In my Presidential address that I delivered at my inauguration, I listed reaching out to the world as one of my top priorities. CIBSE can only be as big and effective as its membership – it’s the members that create the knowledge and uphold our principles.  It should be our wish and our mission to share these with others in and beyond our membership - all over the world. So it seems appropriate that my first blog is about my visit to the CIBSE Australia and New Zealand Reg…

Too much information

In this month's President's Blog, CIBSE President John Field takes a look back at two presentations delivered during the ASHRAE Winter Conference and at a CIBSE Scotland/SLL meeting, discussing performance, big data and modelling.
In the last few weeks, I've been lucky enough to see a series of fascinating presentations on performance, control, feedback, BIM and big data, so I'm going to go through two of them now.
The first was by Alastair MacGregor, Vice President AECOM Los Angeles, at Tim Dwyer's excellent workshop during the ASHRAE Winter Conference. It concerned "third generation" sports arena design - in this case for the Sacramento Kings basketball team. The first-generation was passive design supported by brute force plant, the second generation was design for peak demand and the third generation is performance driven. 
Well the Sacramento arena has a capacity of 17,000 and they are all online: they've all got high-quality Wi-Fi with an app for t…

Top priority

In this month's President's Blog, CIBSE President John Field takes a look back at the Conference and Exhibition and asks - 'Have we got our priorities straight?

In the first blog of a new year it’s traditional to have a look back at the year that came before, and take a look forward at the year ahead – so I’m going to start off with a quick word about November’s Conference and Exhibition. It has become one of the biggest honours in a CIBSE President’s term to preside over the yearly Conference, where we get to demonstrate the wealth of knowledge, experience and innovation within the ranks of the building services engineering community, and this year’s was the biggest and most exciting that I have attended.

Naturally, Building Performance was the focus of the event (it’s in the name after all!) and the issue of how we can create new buildings and reform existing ones in order to make them kinder to the environment and their occupants was a thread that ran through every sing…

Building the future

In this month's President's blog in the run-up to Tomorrow's Engineers Week, John Field takes a look at an unusual new engineering competition for young people - and explores what it means for the teaching of engineering, and the future of talent in the industry

At the Joint CIBSE-ASHRAE seminar this month we had the pleasure of listening to a presentation by ASHRAE President Prof Tim Wentz, who introduced us to an engineering course at the University of Wisconsin by saying “"A hands-on approach is how students learn, and is almost always the most effective way of teaching". This, I think, touches on a very important issue with the way we introduce young people to Engineering.
As a profession we’re competing for talent with other high-profile careers ranging from medicine to banking and finance, who do a very good job of demonstrating the virtues of their fields. Engineering, meanwhile, has something of an image problem and is seen as decidedly dull in comparison…

What's not to like?

Do you like your office? When I say ‘like’ I don’t mean appreciate or ‘enjoy’, I mean do you Like it with a big, blue Facebook thumb? Such questions have got a bad rap in recent years. The ‘Like’ is seen as the ultimate superficial gesture, the epitome of ‘slacktivism’ and a meaningless affirmative in place of actual thought or expression. But, in the right hands, a Like could make an awful lot of difference, and could even change the world.

A Like is really just a data point, and it doesn’t mean an awful lot when you’re talking about a friend’s holiday photos, but applied to buildings ratings can make a lot of difference both in the short and long term. The world’s biggest companies boast of their Likes online and jostle for your attention because it shows their product is good and authentic.

This model has a lot of potential with buildings: We’ve been used to measuring the energy efficiency of buildings for years, but the problem is engagement. Landlords are often reluctant to prom…